Food for Stories

The fact that the pilgrim characters in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales tell their stories in the hope of winning a free meal suggests the heightened importance of food in medieval literature.  Continue reading “Food for Stories”

Festivities at the Medieval Court

As I promised in my last post, this post is going to be dedicated to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a late 14th century chivalric romance.  Written by an unknown author, the poem is thought to originate from the North East (the dialect of Middle English used suggests an author from Lancashire, Staffordshire or Cheshire).  It is written in alliterative verse, with words in the same poetic line repeatedly beginning with the same consonant sound, a type of poetry that seems to have originated in Germany in 4th century BC.  Anglo-Saxon poetry, including Beowulf  which I wrote about in this postwas also frequently alliterative.  
Continue reading “Festivities at the Medieval Court”

The Middle Ages: From Fasting to Feasting

In contrast to the few non-specific references to eating in Anglo-Saxon literature, medieval literature, particularly that dating from the later Middle Ages (14th and 15th centuries),  contains far more references to food.   Fish, stews, pies, bread and sweetmeats, all washed down with ale and wine, are scattered through the pages of many texts from the period.    Continue reading “The Middle Ages: From Fasting to Feasting”